Powerpoint in pedagogy

We’ve pressed the Powerbook and MS Powerpoint into half term service for our four year-old’s revision. In kiosk mode it’s easy to create a constrained sequence of words, letters, numbers that will only advance when he clicks in the right place and that provides an entertaining sound as a reward for getting the task right. We learn: too much entertainment along the way is a major distraction (no pictures!); sometimes Olly wants to motor through the presentation thumbnails instead of following the sequence; knowledge acquired elsewhere (while browsing the web, for instance) is readily applied – “Why can’t I go backwards?”; sometimes computers are rubbish and spreading everything out on the table for easy scribbling and rearranging is best. The whole thing makes me wonder: is there an app out there for this kind of DIY educational computing? Something that would allow us to roll our own exercises easily and react quickly to the child’s demands? Something that would allow us to save the result to the web so others could play or so that we could call up exercises from anywhere?

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